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Westfield goes online

November 22, 2010: In what may prove a milestone in Australian retailing, Westfield has established an online shopping mall, leasing ‘space’ to 50 retailers in the first stage of its launch.

Some 50 retailers are currently online include JB HiFi, with Ted’s Cameras among the 50 to follow.

More than 150,000 products representing over 3000 brands are already available for sale across a full range of categories.

Westfield Group MD, Steven Lowy, said; ‘The creation of an online mall is simply a new marketplace which will complement our existing shopping centre business.

‘We believe the real and virtual shopping centres will become mutually reinforcing, with shoppers using both channels to find and buy products from our retailers.’

Lowy likened the online mall to a Westfield shopping centre – offering a wide range of quality retailers in a single location, supported by the Westfield brand and customer service.

At shoppers can search, compare and purchase products from multiple retailers in one transaction, with a single checkout. Shoppers will be able to save their delivery and payment details in order to checkout faster.

The online mall allows shoppers to search not only by retailer, but by category, product, brand, price and size across all online stores. The will also be able to share their choices and purchases on and via linked social media sites.

Westfield managing director, Australia and New Zealand, Robert Jordan, said the online mall could potentially serve a much broader market than the existing Westfield shopping centres.

‘Already, Westfield centres in Australia generate more than 440 million customer visits each year.

‘The online mall will serve not only these existing Westfield shoppers, but an entirely new market that currently does not have access to a Westfield shopping centre,’ he said.

He said that interest from retailers had been strong.

‘This has come not just from our existing retailers but from “bricks and mortar” retailers who are not currently trading in a Westfield centre as well as retailers who currently operate purely online,’ he said.

The site supports 256-bit SSL encryption to secure transactions and shopper’s credit cards will not be charged until their goods are shipped.

All stores offer flat rate delivery around Australia, either in standard and/or express delivery times, and all stores offer at least one form of free returns, either directly into their physical outlets and/or via return post.

Westfield itself will provide online and call centre support for shoppers requiring assistance with their purchases.

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